We just love this quirky asymmetric succulent planter from Hester van Overbeek's latest book, Making Concrete Pots, Bowls and Platters. If you're knew to crafting with concrete then check out Hester's top tips, but don't panic - this is a good beginner's concrete project to try as the sides of the planter are very thick so you're unlikely to have any cracks or breakages!
How to make an asymmetric succulent planter
I love succulents, mainly as they seem to be the only plants I am able to keep alive. My whole house is filled with these little fat specimens—I have most of them grouped together in big containers, but some are so pretty it’s nice to single them out, for example in this planter.
I used picnicware as a mold—you can buy this very cheaply in your pound or dime store. This is where I also found this great triangular-shaped drinking cup, which is perfect for an asymmetric planter. The top is painted in a bright blue chalk paint—you can either apply an all-over color or tape off parts of the planter with masking tape to create the geometric pattern.
YOU WILL NEED
plastic bowl and drinking cup, to use as molds
concrete mix—I used approximately 3¼ lb (1.5kg)
safety goggles, gloves, and dust mask
rice or sand scissors
paint—I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Provence
chalk paint varnish (optional)
small succulent plant and potting compost
1. Spray the inside of the bowl with a little cooking spray to make sure the dried concrete releases easily.
2. Mix the concrete according to the packet instructions and pour it in the bowl, filling the bowl about half full. Push the cup in the concrete, making sure it is off-center but at least 1¼ in (3cm) from the edge as you don’t want to make the wall too thin. Fill the mold with the rest of the concrete.
3. Fill the cup with rice or sand to prevent it from floating up. Tap the sides of the bowl to release all the air bubbles from the concrete mix. Let the concrete set—this can take about an hour for quickset concrete or half a day for normal concrete.
Succulents require very little water, so there is no need to make a drainage hole in this planter. Just remember to be sparing when you do water them.
4. When the concrete is set, make a vertical cut in the cup so you can squeeze its walls in and pull it out from the concrete. Pull the walls of the bowl out a little to release the planter and tip it out of the bowl.
5. Using fine sandpaper, smooth away any roughness on the edges of the planter, making sure all the sanding dust is brushed off before you paint it.
6. Cut the masking tape into triangles (or any other shape you want). Stick the masking tape shapes in a random pattern on your planter, working outward from the planting hole. Also apply masking tape to the sides of the planter to keep it clean of paint drips.
7. Give the top of the planter a coat of paint and allow to dry thoroughly.
8. When the paint is dry, peel off the pieces of masking tape. If you wish, apply a coat of clear varnish to make the paint more durable. Allow to dry, then plant the succulent in the hole and water sparingly.
For more conrete crafting ideas and quirky ideas for homeware, check out Hester's latest book Making Concrete Pots, Bowls and Platters.